1 - What changed for residential and small business customers on November 1, 2020?
Since November 1, 2020, there are two electricity rate options that residential and small business customers, who are billed under the provincial Regulated Price Plan (RPP), can choose from: time-of-use (TOU) rates and tiered rates.
2 - How can I change my rate plan?
To change rate plans, you must complete a rate selection form.
The fastest way is to complete and submit your form directly through our MyAccount customer portal.
Our call centre representatives can also help you complete your rate selection form over the phone.
Alternatively, you can print your completed form and mail it to us.
3 – Is there a deadline to make the switch?
There is no deadline to change rate plan or complete your rate selection form. If you do not wish to make a choice at this time, you will continue to be billed under time-of-use (TOU) as your default rate plan.
4 - If I don’t like the rate plan that I chose, can I switch back?
Yes, following the prescribed process and timelines, you can change your rate plan at any time (i.e. from TOU to tiered rates and vice versa).
5 - Once I make my choice, complete and submit the form, when will I see the new rate plan reflected on my bill?
Your rate change form will be processed in the next 10 business days of receiving a valid form. Once your validated form has been fully processed, your new rate plan will take effect and appear on your next available bill or the following one, depending on where your account is in the billing cycle. This is also when it would reflect on your MyAccount customer portal.
If your billing period corresponds to the calendar month, and you submit a valid form ‘’by email’’ on November 2, 2020, Hydro Ottawa would begin to apply ‘’tiered rates’’ pricing as of December 1, 2020, and your December bill would reflect the new rate plan;
If you submit a valid form ‘’by email’’ on November 29, 2020, the new rate plan would not take effect until January 1, 2021.
Meaning that the change in rate plan will start to apply only as of a future date/or future billing period. The change will not be applied back to the beginning of the billing period in which the valid form was received.
6 - What is the difference between TOU and tiered rates?
Time-of-use rates (TOU)
Under TOU, you pay a different rate for electricity depending on the time of day and day of the week you consume it. Time-of-use has three periods: on-peak (when energy demand and cost is high), mid-peak (when energy demand and cost is moderate) and off-peak (when energy demand and cost is low). Learn more about TOU.
Customers under tiered rates pay one set rate for the electricity they consume up to a predetermined kilowatt-hour (kWh) threshold each month. Once customers exceed the monthly threshold, they are billed at a higher rate per kWh for all additional electricity consumed in that month. The threshold changes with the seasons for residential customers. In the summer (May 1 – Oct. 31), the threshold is 600 kWh. In the winter (Nov. 1 – April 30) the threshold is 1000 kWh. The Tier threshold for small business customers is 750 kWh all year round. Learn more about tiered pricing.
7- Who sets TOU and tiered rates?
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) typically sets new electricity rates under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) in May and November of every year, based on an estimate of how much it will cost to supply customers with the electricity that they are expected to use.
To learn more on the RPP rate setting, please refer to the Ontario Energy Board.
8 - Who is eligible for the customer choice rate option program?
All residential and small business consumers who pay time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) are eligible.
RPP customers include most:
- small businesses and,
Customers who are not billed under the RPP, such as retailer-enrolled customers, are not eligible.
Customers currently on a tiered pricing plan may also request to switch to TOU. However, Hydro Ottawa will need to confirm if they have the appropriate meter before making the switch. In order to be billed on TOU rates, customers must have a smart meter. Learn more about smart meters.
If you live in a condo or apartment and have your own meter, meaning that you pay your own electricity bill to Hydro Ottawa, you are eligible and can choose your rate plan.
For customers who live in a condo or apartment with an individual meter and your bill comes from a company other than your electricity utility, you are a customer of a unit sub-meter provider (USMP). Individual customers of a USMP cannot switch rate options (e.g., TOU or Tiered Rates). That decision can only be made for the building as a whole by the “master consumer,” who is the person that retained a USMP for the property. In most cases, the master consumer is the property manager, landlord or condominium board.
9 - Where can I find more information, tools and advice to help me make an informed decision?
To better understand the potential impacts of a rate change on your bill, it’s important to know what your overall energy consumption is and how your day-to-day habits can influence your energy costs.
The information contained in Hydro Ottawa’s MyAccount customer portal should be a good indicator of your consumption habits and help point you in the right direction of which rate option is best for you based on how much energy you use, and when you use it.
Only you can decide which price plan is right for you, since only you know how you plan to use electricity in the future.
Electricity distributors, like Hydro Ottawa, are not in a position to advise customers in their rate plan decision, including recommending one plan over another.
Reason being that, Hydro Ottawa has no insight or control over how a customer’s future electricity consumption behaviour may change.
10 - Are there any tools to help me compare rate plans?
There are two different online tools available to help customers make a choice and compare TOU and tiered rate plans.
Hydro Ottawa’s rate plan comparison tool is available for MyAccount customers and automatically uses your consumption data to show you the electricitycost difference (in percentage) under TOU or tiered prices for your account.
A second one is available through the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) website. The OEB’s bill calculator will help you compare your estimated monthly bill under TOU or tiered prices.
These tools are designed to provide customers with an estimate on whether they may benefit financially from making a switch to a different rate plan. The tools are intended to act as a guide only, and actual differences will depend on usage and consumption patterns within any billing period
1. Hydro Ottawa’s MyAccount Rate Plan Comparison Tool
Hydro Ottawa’s MyAccount users can take advantage of our new rate plan comparison tool, which makes it easy to compare and estimate the cost difference (in percentage) between TOU and tiered pricing for your account.
There’s no need for you to enter any consumption data or other billing information. MyAccount will automatically generate an estimate and compare electricity costs for you based on the historical monthly usage information available in your MyAccount customer portal.
The online tool is easy-to-use. Simply follow these steps:
- Log into MyAccount
- Choose ‘’Manage Rate Plan’’ option;
- Click on the “Compare Rate Plans’’ button.
From this screen, you will see a bar chart displaying estimated cost under each plan over a period of one year. Over each month, an arrow indicator will be displayed to provide a quick visual on the estimated cost impact of switching plans. In addition, the annual Estimated Impact in terms of the approximate electricity cost difference (%) between your ‘’Current Rate Plan’’ and the ‘’Alternate Rate Plan’’ (ex: TOU vs tiered rates, or vice versa) is also presented.
This estimate is based on TOU and tiered rates that are currently in effectand does not take into account taxes, fixed charges, rebates and or credits.
Rate Comparison Data
You can also download the electricity consumption data that MyAccount used to generate the estimated impact/cost difference. To download the data, click the ‘’Download Raw Data’’ button.
Once downloaded, the rate comparison data sheet will display your estimated monthly consumption in kWh, based on the usage information available, show you your estimated electricity consumption costs under TOU and tired rates and the difference ($) between the two rate plans.
If you are not yet registered to MyAccount, but wish to use this tool, you can sign up today at hydroottawa.com/myaccount.
2. The Ontario Energy Board’s Online Bill Calculator Tool
For customers who are not registered or using MyAccount, the Ontario Energy Board has developed a bill calculator that helps customers see the difference between TOU and tiered pricing. The OEB’s online bill calculator will help you to compare the impact of electricity price plans on your estimated monthly bill.
Unlike Hydro Ottawa’s MyAccount rate plan comparison tool, you will need to enter your consumption information into the tool manually to receive your billing comparison. Be sure to have copies of your previous bills available on hand to assist you in entering accurate consumption information.
Important things to keep in mind when using the online tools: There is no guarantee you will save money if you switch from TOU to tiered rates or vice versa, as the total bill impact of switching will vary depending on how much electricity you actually use in a month and when it is used during the day.